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Simple and efficient, rail travel nonetheless inspires a sense of romance. By train, subway, and a seemingly endless variety of trams, trolleys, and coal shaft cars, we've moved on rails for hundreds of years. Industry too relies on the billions of tons of freight moved annually by rolling stock. Gathered here are images of rails in our lives, the third post in an occasional series on transport, following Automobiles and Pedal power. -- Lane Turner (47 photos total)
An employee adjusts a CRH380B high-speed Harmony bullet train as it stops for an examination during a test run at a bullet train exam and repair center in Shenyang, China on October 23, 2012. (Stringer/Reuters)     

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The ongoing student demonstrations in Chile began as a protest over the costs, profits, and fairness of higher education there. They have since attracted other segments of Chilean society venting frustration over wages, health care, and other issues. Uniting the protesters is common dissatisfaction with hugely unpopular President Sebastian Pinera and social inequality. Workers joined a 48-hour general strike in August which, like many demonstrations during the course of the protests, was met with police using tear gas and water cannons on the participants. With changes in the education system still unsettled, the student protests are likely to continue. Chileans yesterday celebrated their national independence day. -- Lane Turner (34 photos total)
Students are hit by water cannons during a rally to demand changes in the public state education system in Santiago July 28, 2011. (Carlos Vera/Reuters)

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US soldiers gather near a destroyed vehicle and protect their faces from rotor wash, as their wounded comrades are airlifted by a Medevac helicopter from the 159th Brigade Task Force Thunder to Kandahar Hospital Role 3, on August 23, 2011. All foreign combat troops will leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014 in a process that started last month and will require the Afghan army and police to play an ever-greater role in fighting the Taliban insurgency.

Hurricane Irene continues to move towards the eastern coast of the United States and could still be a major storm as it approaches the North Carolina coast.

Rebel fighter celebrate as they sit on top of a monument inside Moammar Gadhafi’s compound in Bab Al-Aziziya in Tripoli, Libya, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011. The rebels say they have now taken control of nearly all of Tripoli, but sporadic gunfire could still be heard Wednesday, and Gadhafi loyalists fired shells and assault rifles at fighters who had captured the Libyan leader’s personal compound one day earlier.

 August 26, 2011

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US soldiers gather near a destroyed vehicle and protect their faces from rotor wash, as their wounded comrades are airlifted by a Medevac helicopter from the 159th Brigade Task Force Thunder to Kandahar Hospital Role 3, on August 23, 2011. Three soldiers were wounded while their vehicle was destroyed up by an Improvised Explosive Devise (IED). All foreign combat troops will leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014 in a process that started last month and will require the Afghan army and police to play an ever-greater role in fighting the Taliban insurgency. AFP PHOTO/ Johannes EISELE #

 August 26, 2011

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A pilot dips the basket of his hot-air balloon in the Androscoggin River in front of a couple in a canoe during the Great Falls Balloon Festival, Friday, Aug. 19, 2011, in Lewiston, Maine. More than 20 balloons launched at sunrise to kick off the three-day event. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty) #

 August 26, 2011

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Indian youth make a human pyramid to break the ‘Dahi Handi’, an earthen pot filled with yoghurt, as they celebrate Janamashtami, the birth anniversary of Hindu God Krishna in Mumbai, India, Monday, Aug. 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool) #

 August 26, 2011

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Salem Hasam Ali, 62, a shop owner, cries and flashes v-sign after singing the pre-Moammar Gadhafi Libyan national anthem at the rebel-held town of Benghazi, Libya, late Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011. Hundreds of Libyan rebels stormed Gadhafi's compound Tuesday, charging wildly through the symbolic heart of the crumbling regime as they killed loyalist troops, looted armories and knocked the head off a statue of the besieged dictator. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini) #

 August 26, 2011

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Cory Ritz braces himself as a wave bursts onto a pier at the Boynton Beach inlet on August 25, 2011 in Boynton Beach, Florida. Hurricane Irene is moving over the Bahamas and could still be a major storm as it approaches the North Carolina coast the morning of August 27. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #

 August 26, 2011

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A 19 year-old polar bear (Ursus maritimus) 'Vitush' swims as he eats a fish at the Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden in Budapest on August 26, 2011, as the summer temperature approaches 35 degrees Celsius. AFP PHOTO/ ATTILA KISBENEDEK #

 August 26, 2011

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A injured man is carried from a United Nation's office after a car blew up in Abuja, Nigeria, Friday, Aug. 26, 2011. A car laden with explosives rammed through two gates and blew up at the United Nations' offices in Nigeria's capital Friday, killing at least seven people and shattering part of the concrete structure. (AP Photo) #

 August 26, 2011

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A Libyan walks inside the Abu Salim prison in Tripoli, LIbya, Friday, Aug. 26, 2011,one Libya's most notorious prisons and the scene of a 1996 massacre of prisoners. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev) #

 August 26, 2011

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A Thai Muslim boy reads the Quran as he attends the last Friday prayer of the year's holy fasting month of Ramadan at the Central Mosque in the Thai southern city of Pattani on August 26, 2011. The holy month of Ramadan is recording a spike in attacks by suspected Muslim separatist insurgents in the Thai restive south with a roadside blast which killed at least five security officers on August 26 in the neighbouring province of Narathiwat. AFP PHOTO / Tuwaedaniya MERINGING #

 August 26, 2011

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A demonstrator points a toy gun at a line of riot police on the second day of a national strike in Santiago, Chile, Thursday Aug. 25, 2011. Chileans marched Thursday, demanding profound changes in the country's heavily centralized and privatized form of government. Union members, students, government workers and Chile's center-left opposition parties joined the nationwide two-day strike. (AP Photo/Roberto Candia) #

 August 26, 2011

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People celebrate the capture in Tripoli of Moammar Gadhafi's son and one-time heir apparent, Seif al-Islam, at the rebel-held town of Benghazi, Libya, early Monday, Aug. 22, 2011. Libyan rebels raced into Tripoli in a lightning advance Sunday that met little resistance as Moammar Gadhafi's defenders melted away and his 40-year rule appeared to rapidly crumble. The euphoric fighters celebrated with residents of the capital in the city's main square, the symbolic heart of the regime. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini) #

 August 26, 2011

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Indian policemen detain supporters of anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare during a protest outside Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's residence in New Delhi on August 25, 2011. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urged the anti-corruption activist whose hunger strike has rocked the government to end his 10-day fast, leading parliament in a united appeal. Hazare's hunger strike has triggered large rallies among supporters across the country, as a civil movement backed by many middle-class urban voters has mushroomed around his cause. AFP PHOTO/ MANAN VATSYAYANA #

 August 26, 2011

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Rebel fighters maneuver their gun during fighting with loyal to Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi, in the neighborhood of Abu Salim, in the south of the capital Tripoli, on August 25, 2011, during heavy fighting. Hardened fighters streamed into Tripoli as Libya's rebels sought to deliver a knockout punch to Moamer Kadhafi's diehards and to flush out the elusive strongman, dead or alive. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE #

 August 26, 2011

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Riot police stand covered with paint thrown by demonstrators trying to reach La Moneda presidential palace on the second day of a national strike in Santiago, Chile, Thursday Aug. 25, 2011. Chileans marched Thursday, demanding profound changes in the country's heavily centralized and privatized form of government. Union members, students, government workers and Chile's center-left opposition parties joined the nationwide two-day strike. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano) #

 August 26, 2011

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People are guided through the "Dialog in the Dark'' exhibit at South Street Seaport on August 24, 2011 in New York City. The new exhibition takes visitors on a sensory tour of New York City while in a totally darkened space in an attempt to simulate the urban life of a blind person. Visitors are led by a visually impaired guide and carry a cane similar to what a blind individual would carry. Separate rooms feature items from a person's daily routines, such as shopping, riding a subway car, walking and shopping, which forces visitors to use other senses to figure out the smells, sounds, and textures they encounter during the hour-long presentation. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) #

 August 26, 2011

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A man walks along a seaside park as Hurricane Irene passes to the east of Nassau on New Providence Island in the Bahamas, Thursday Aug. 25, 2011. Irene is pounding the Bahamas as a Category 3 hurricane. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) #

 August 26, 2011

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Supporters of India's anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare shout slogans in solidarity with Hazare as they protest near Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's residence in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011. Singh seized control of a national anti-corruption debate Thursday, calling on Parliament to discuss protesters' reform proposals and appealing to the weakening 74-year-old activist to end his hunger strike. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das) #

 August 26, 2011

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Rebel fighter celebrate as they sit on top of a monument inside Moammar Gadhafi's compound in Bab Al-Aziziya in Tripoli, Libya, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011. The rebels say they have now taken control of nearly all of Tripoli, but sporadic gunfire could still be heard Wednesday, and Gadhafi loyalists fired shells and assault rifles at fighters who had captured the Libyan leader's personal compound one day earlier. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev) #

 August 26, 2011

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North Koreans flip colored cards in the seats of the May Day stadium in Pyongyang to create their nation's flag during a performance Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011. North Korea's huge synchronized dance and gymnastics show, called "Arirang", includes up to 100,000 participants according to organizers. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder) #

 August 26, 2011

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A bride in her wedding dress runs from the courthouse in Lower Manhattan in New York August 23, 2011 as buildings were evacuated because of the aftershocks from a 5.9 magnitude earthquake centered northwest of Richmond, Va. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A.CLARY #

 August 26, 2011

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Artisans work on semi-finished clay statues of Hindu goddess Durga in Kumartoli, the idol makers village of Kolkata, on August 22, 2011. Ongoing monsoon rain has made it difficult for artisans to finish idols on schedule, with the recent economic slowdown and high inflation adding to the difficulties of the idol-makers ahead of the festive season. AFP PHOTO/Dibyangshu SARKAR #

 August 26, 2011

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Rebel fighters speak to a suspected pro-Gadhafi soldier after he was captured in Tripoli, Libya, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011. Rebels say they control most of Tripoli, but they faced pockets of fierce resistance from regime loyalists firing mortars and anti-aircraft guns. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev) #

 August 26, 2011

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Quotes by Martin Luther King, Jr., are inscribed in the wall at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial as it is seen at dusk ahead of its dedication this weekend in Washington, Monday, Aug. 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) #

 August 26, 2011

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A Pakistani security officer stands guard next to burning oil tankers carrying fuel for NATO forces in neighboring Afghanistan, exploded after being attacked by gunmen on the outskirts of Quetta, Pakistan, Monday, Aug. 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Arshad Butt) #

 August 26, 2011

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A Palestinian child waits for her mother to cross the Qalandia checkpoint on their way to pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque on the third Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, at the Qalandia checkpoint between the West Bank city of Ramallah and Jerusalem, Friday, Aug. 19, 2011. Muslims around the world are observing the holy fasting month of Ramadan where they refrain from eating, drinking, smoking from dawn to dusk. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue) #

 August 26, 2011

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Rebel fighters shoot to the sky during a funeral in the rebel-held town of Benghazi, Libya, Friday, Aug. 19, 2011. Four bodies of rebel fighters, who were killed on the frontline of Brega, were buried. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini) #

 August 26, 2011

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Israeli soldiers mourn during the funeral of First Sgt. Moshe Naftali, 22, at the Mt. Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem, Friday, Aug. 19, 2011. Gunmen who appear to have originated in Gaza and who crossed into southern Israel through the Egyptian desert ambushed civilian vehicles traveling on a remote road, killing eight people. Six were civilians, and two were members of Israeli security forces responding to the incursion. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue) #

 August 26, 2011

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In this photo taken on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011, a poster of presidential candidate and former ruling party member Dr. Tan Cheng Bok is seen during his rally in Singapore. Singaporeans vote Saturday, Aug. 27, among four candidates for the ceremonial presidency after an uncharacteristically feisty contest that could show further signs of erosion in support for the overwhelmingly dominant ruling party. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E) #

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A couple kiss while waiting for the subway in New York May 11, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

New York is consistently touted as a cold, aggressive, and hectic city with no personal connections possible. A populace of hyper-efficient and emotionally starved citizens, or at least that’s what I had heard before I moved here.

I arrived in New York almost 4 years ago and immediately found these preconceptions to be mostly untrue, with an exception of the hyper-efficiency. The city forces you to interact, albeit most often very briefly, with thousands of fellow New Yorkers on a daily basis – on the trains, sidewalks, buses, and bike paths that keep the city humming with activity year-round. I have used public transportation ever since arriving in New York to work as a staff photographer for Reuters. This most often means taking the infamous New York City subway.

A couple embraces as a subway train arrives in the station in New York May 24, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

This subterranean method of transportation probably forces the most intimacy with total strangers of any in modern society. A morning rush hour commute has you standing fully pressed up against half a dozen people. Hundreds of commuters per subway car struggle not to notice each other and keep their ‘game face’ of indifference and impatience on. It is in this most public of settings that I notice some people feeling no shame or embarrassment in kissing, snuggling, holding hands, fighting, or hugging in full view of dozens of strangers. This unabashed intimacy with a loved one within the public setting of a subway car seemed crazy. But it immediately struck me as something interesting to photograph.

A couple kisses while riding the subway in New York June 1, 2009. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

This collection of images did not begin as a “project” but quickly became a creative release for me. It has become something to do as I wait for the train home from work (I almost never shoot on the train going to work for some reason). In the beginning it was a chance for me simply to photograph without the limitations or barriers that I constantly deal with while working. It is pure creativity. The process allows me to capture genuine moments that happen so often in New York. I fully credit this project with pulling me out of a creative funk and allowing me to photograph as I wish I could everywhere.

A woman drops an umbrella while waiting for a subway car with fellow commuters in New York March 27, 2009.REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Finding the subjects usually involves a combination of luck and being tuned in to something that most people ignore. I am one of those people who usually walks the length of the track to stand at the spot where the train will let me out right at my exit staircase. This is a skill honed by my hyper-efficient self, developed since I moved to New York.

A couple embraces while waiting for the subway in New York March 18, 2009. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Every once in awhile I walk past a couple who is oblivious to all but one another and I work to subtly try and find a good angle for an image. My favorite shots are when the platform is really crowded. The stark contrast between indifferent commuters and an engrossed couple often makes an interesting frame. Sometimes it is as simple as pointing my camera and snapping a couple of frames while they are too engrossed in each other to notice. And sometimes it requires a shot from a camera hanging at my hip or sitting in my lap.

A couple kisses while waiting for the subway in New York June 2, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

I have honed my hip shooting skills by doing this project for over a year now but I often find the live-view capabilities of the newer cameras to be useful in a project like this. It’s good not only because it allows me to compose a photograph but also to fire the shutter with less noise. The 5DMKII is amazing at being virtually silent while allowing me to focus the lens – all without raising the camera to my eye.

Couples ride the subway after New Years celebrations in New York January 1, 2010.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

To most people, an image is captured only when the camera is raised to the eye – a fact I take full advantage of as often as I can. When people are aware of a camera, they often lose the honesty in their body language or expression. The project is not meant to be anything other than a collection of moments that force the viewer to take a closer look at something that is often ignored. The kisses, the fights, the snuggling – all of it will likely be forgotten almost as soon as it happens. I doubt any of the subjects will even remember the experiences I have photographed. However, these images prove that even in the hustle and bustle of New York, there is time to love.

A couple embraces as a subway car speeds past them underneath Union Square in New York April 1, 2009.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

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